I ♥ Female Directors

Dear Reader,

Every year there are studies and lists and think pieces about the lack of female directors working in television and film. And hey, we love studies and lists and think pieces as much as the next gal, but the numbers are soooo depressing and the problem is soooo entrenched and unchanging that reading about it starts to feel a lot like eating your vegetables if vegetables tasted like futility which they do.

We started iheartfemaledirectors.com because we think the biggest thing missing from the conversation about female directors is some good old-fashioned gushy fandom. We will not have achieved true equality until every film school student who ever jizzed himself talking about the exploration of violence and masculinity in Fight Club has also needed a change of pants after discussing the exploration of violence and masculinity in Beau Travail.

Yes, there are historically fewer female directors than male, but there have still been hundreds (thousands?) of great ones. And new female directors are being born and dismissed every minute! So while the major studios’ scientists toil away in their under-the-lot labs, manufacturing the single perfect, hireable female director*, we’ll be swooning over the ones who have already put amazing, love letter-worthy things into the world.  

So here’s our plan: every week we’ll put up a new love letter to a female director we’re obsessed with. And look, maybe that won't solve all of sexism in Hollywood. But it might get you to watch an Agnes Varda movie, and isn't that a close second?

Annabel, Laura & Charley


• Experienced (but also fresh!)
• Works Constantly (but is always available)
• Commanding (but not emasculating)
• Will represent the wokeness and feminism of the studio (but won’t complain about institutionalized sexism)
• Has a unique voice (but wants to direct mediocre tentpoles)
• A visionary (but takes all notes)

Dearest Sarah Polley,

I don’t remember being floored by a movie like I was by your film Away From Her. Your exploration of lifelong, unconditional love and devotion moved me in a way that I still reference when thinking about love/regret/ forgiving/forgetting (c'mon do we ever really forget?) and what grief and loss can look like and how uncomfortable it can be to sit in the mess of things not being black and white. So you can imagine how I thought we could only go downhill from there, but then you go and make Take This Waltz, a movie about the complexities of marriage, and Stories We Tell, a doc about your own family secrets that you shared with world, and I thought you were trying to kill me. And you did. So now I'm a fucking ghost writing this. Thanks.

I love your curiosity about human behavior-- what motivates us to make the choices we make, what makes long term relationships work, and how we change within them. You capture so well the stillness, the quiet, the time in between… and you let your actors have the space and freedom to explore this. That snowshoeing scene in Away From Her when Fiona falls (surrenders) into the snow, and the freedom she feels in that, is an image I will never forget. You touch on something similar in Take This Waltz, how sometimes getting derailed or lost actually gets us where we are going in a more beautiful way than we could’ve ever imagined. Wait, I want to come back to the word devotion. Your country. Your political activism and your devotion to Canadian authors, actors, locations, musicians, etc, is truly inspiring. And so I am devoted to you until the end of time and waiting with bated breath to see what swoon-worthy thing you do next.

Maggie Lawson

Source: www.iheartfemaledirectors.com/sarah-polley